In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out. Isaiah 9:17
Has our country abandoned godliness? How far will we drift away? We are drifting in the wrong direction. What was common belief just a few years ago has been pushed aside by the modern culture. Things like sexual immorality have given way to a new lifestyle of “If it feels good, do it”!
Political leadership has given way to political control. There was a time when political leaders were respected. Their office spoke for itself. Now, there are despicable members adorning the seats of Congress and state legislatures. They are taking positions and passing laws supporting perversion and immorality. It has gone from celebrating anti-Christian behavior to castigating those who hold fast to their Christian beliefs and punishing them for doing so. Those who profess tolerance are the most intolerant of all.
The church in many cases is implicit, taking positions, like supporting gay marriage, abortion and other anti-Biblical views, just to please the new post modernism culture. Many churches have joined religion and wickedness hand and glove. We are seeing a holocaust of God’s people.
Generally speaking, American education at all levels has become anti-God. Teachers are told the philosophy what they say and teach and speaking about God in the classroom is strictly forbidden.
Secularists ask us: What business is it of ours if others choose abortion or euthanasia? What right do we have to tell people what gender they can love and marry? Isn’t everyone’s sexual orientation and gender identity their business? The “culture wars,” by which evangelicals have sought to declare and defend biblical truth and morality, are being lost—or so we’re told by the secular media.
For non-Christians, the constant drumbeat of secular culture is that you don’t need Christ. Personal authenticity is the path to flourishing, we’re told. Whether the subject is abortion or euthanasia, sexual orientation or gender identity, the message is the same: your body is yours to do with as you wish. So long as you’re not harming others (an assertion tragically overlooked by abortion advocates), you’re free to do what makes you happy.
Why, then, would anyone want to hear a message that insists we are sinners in need of salvation and calls us to repentance, contrition, and submission to God? Why dress up to go sing hymns and hear sermons at church? Since hell appears nowhere on our list of top fears, why not live and let live.
According to a recent Pew Foundation poll, 83% of Americans are at least “fairly certain” about their belief in God, but strangely enough, many are convinced that America is based on secular principles.
Immigrants came to this country in search of liberty and freedom. Our forefathers built the foundation to rest it upon. That foundation was a Biblically based culture and an economic system that allowed people to rise to their finest. Different people groups melded into being Americans. Now the government is pushing theories and laws that divide people apart.
Yet, God is still in charge of it all. He is waiting to see how far our culture will slide, but some day, some way He will rescue us from ourselves. Though He is rightfully angry, He does not abandon us, and His hand is still outstretched. How long before we as a nation will reach up and grab it?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Americans seem to be suffering an epidemic of loneliness, according to a recent study by the Survey Center on American Life. Reporting on this study, Ben Cost in the New York Post wrote, “Signs suggest that the role of friends in American social life is experiencing a pronounced decline.” The study showed that “Americans report having fewer close friendships than they once did, talking to their friends less often, and relying less on their friends for personal support.”
The article continues, “Per the shocking study, nearly half of all Americans — 49 percent — reported having fewer than three close friends. . . . If that wasn’t bad enough, a mind-boggling 12 percent of interviewees claimed to have zero friends today, four times as many as thirty years ago, per the survey.”
As Christians, we can and should be the remedy to this epidemic. Take some time today to do your own friendship audit. Don’t rush it. Think and pray it through. Friends are priceless gifts of grace.
Whom could you call (not text!), invite to lunch or coffee, and give the precious gift of your time as you receive theirs? The church has the power to stop the epidemic of loneliness. Ask God to help you deepen your connections today—then seek to be the friend to others that Jesus is to you. Jim Denison
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Norman Cousins, who was the editor-in chief of the Saturday Review for over 35 years, was told in 1964 that he only had a few months to live. He had a rare disease of the connective tissues called Ankylosing Spondylitis. He was told to “get his affairs in order” since he had only 1 chance in 500 to live.
However, Cousins would not accept the diagnosis. He then did something unheard of and unprecedented. He fired his doctor. Left the hospital. Checked into a hotel. And began to research a solution to his problem.
He learned that the medicine he was taking was depleting his body of vitamin C. So he began taking massive doses of the vitamin. But the most unusual thing he did was rent a movie projector and obtained a pile of funny movies including The Marx Brothers, Candid Camera, Charlie Chaplin and Abbott & Costello. He watched one after another and just sat back and laughed. Believing that laughter was the best medicine he laughed and laughed until his stomach hurt.
Did it work? Who knows. But Cousins lived another 26 years. He died in 1990 at age 75.
His story reminds us of the wise man’s assertion in Proverbs 17:22. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Ken Weliever
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
The world constantly tells you to do more, have more, and buy more. So how do you decide when you have ‘enough’? The Minimalist
More good gets done over a cup of coffee between two friends than occurs all day long in the counselor’s office.
There is nothing on this earth to be more prized than true friendship. Thomas Aquinas
The thirst in man is a thirst for God. Dan Shock
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire. FRANCOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD
People may be your opponent, but Satan is your enemy. RV Brown
No matter what hardships the world may throw at you, you have in Jesus everything you need to persevere. Sarah Young
Living for Jesus is not a once-a-week kind of experience. Dan Shock
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. MARCEL PROUST
Non-Christians are living to die. Christians are dying to live. We begin to die the minute we are born. Tony Evans.
Money is not a goal. It is a tool.
Learn to enjoy life more. Relax, remembering Jesus is God with you. Sarah Younga